The Title X program has become a battlefront in the US fight over reproductive rights, with Democrats rallying to protect abortion rights against President Trump and Republicans who have made gains curtailing access to the procedure in this administration and in state legislatures in recent years.
The "gag" rule, as opponents of the proposal refer to it, would also be initiated if the bill passes, which would bar federally funded family planning clinics from referring women for abortions.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum, both Democrats, on Monday announced another lawsuit with Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, the District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.
The multi-state lawsuit seeks an injunction to prevent the Trump administration's final rule from taking effect. Attorney General Xavier Becerra, who has become one of Mr. Trump's most aggressive critics, said Monday that the administration's changes to Title X, the federal family planning program, would punish doctors and clinics for giving women a comprehensive portrait of their reproductive options.
California has filed dozens of lawsuits challenging a number of the Trump administration's actions. A multi-state lawsuit, brought mostly by Democratic-controlled states, is set to be filed Tuesday in federal court in Eugene, Oregon, the NY attorney general's office said in a statement. "This is yet another attack from the Trump Administration on women and families, and it is appalling that the federal government wants to rob individuals of the right to complete medical information and full access to the critical health care services they rely on".
Title X-funded clinics that don't honor what opponents have dubbed a "gag rule" will be forced to forgo federal funding.
The money for Title X actually doesn't change, it just goes to other organizations providing those services - and not abortion.
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Becerra's office said in a press release the new rule "restricts access to critical preventive healthcare and access to birth control and prohibits doctors from providing accurate information for patients and referrals for abortion".
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the move an "outrageous assault on the health care of vulnerable and under-served women and families", adding that the rule will "gravely undermin [e] the health and strength of America".
On Tuesday, the American Medical Association and Oregon Medical Association teamed up with Planned Parenthood Federation of America for an additional lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Eugene, Ore. Washington's Democratic attorney general also previously said the state would challenge the rule.
California's attorney general said the new rule affects 4 million mostly low-income women nationwide and 1 million women in California.
"The rule would cut approximately $60 million of Planned Parenthood's taxpayer funding - a significant step in defunding the abortion giant", said a statement from the American Center for Law and Justice.